Fort Hamilton High School

Grades 9-12
Noteworthy
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What’s Special

Large neighborhood school with great music program and broad array of classes and extracurricular activities

The Downside

A large school may be overwhelming for some; very overcrowded

Our Review

Fort Hamilton High School is a massive neighborhood school located along the edge of New York Harbor. It offers a broad array of classes and extracurricular activities, including more than 60 clubs and dozens of sports teams. The school mainly admits students who live in its zone, though there are a few small arts programs and an honors academy that attract kids from across Brooklyn.

What’s nice about Fort Hamilton is that kids don’t have to specialize from the outset. Zoned students may participate in the school’s extensive music program, which includes three choirs, three concert bands, two orchestras, and both a jazz and marching band. While a newly minted drama program offers an intensive course of study for its enrolled students, there are theater classes and school performances open to all. Business classes are a popular draw and include options such as computer applications, entrepreneurship, accounting and Virtual Enterprise, where students create and operate all facets of a mock business.

Incoming freshmen with strong grades, including those admitted to one of the arts programs, are placed in honors classes even if they didn’t apply to the Honors Academy. Upperclassmen with strong grades or who are looking for a challenge are encouraged to take honors and Advanced Placement classes. Students may study French, Spanish, Greek or Italian.

With a student population that exceeds 4,500, Fort Hamilton is one of the largest high schools in the city. To handle the crowds, classes start as early as 7:20 a.m. and spread over 10 periods. Despite its size and overcrowding, the school does not seem hectic. Hallways are packed during changes of classes but are otherwise quiet and clear of students. Even the cafeteria, which holds more than 700 students and stretches the length of a city block, was not overly noisy during lunchtime.

In academic classes we visited, we saw a range of teaching styles, though teachers across the school are devoting more time in lessons to student discussion and reflection.

Kaye Houlihan became principal of Fort Hamilton in 2012 after working at two other large schools with strong arts program. She was an assistant principal at LaGuardia High School and taught English at Edward R. Murrow High School.

To accommodate the many students still learning English, there are subject classes such as history, science and math taught in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese (options vary by language).

The student council campaigned hard to secure funding from Brooklyn officials to get the school’s field, track and scoreboard replaced. Renovations are slated to be finished in 2019.

There is a dedicated college office where students can drop in to speak with the counselor or do research at a bank of computers. The school’s college-readiness rate is strong, and many students graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma. Graduates attend a broad range of schools, including CUNY, SUNY and private colleges, and job training programs.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There is a full range of services and class settings, including self-contained and ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) classes. There is also a five-year program for students with special needs, who complete the coursework for a diploma and gain work experience at the nearby Veterans Administration hospital.

ADMISSIONS: Students who live in the school’s zone are guaranteed admission to the zoned program only but may apply to the other programs. Admission to the Honors Academy is based on a review of students’ grades, state test scores, and record of attendance and punctuality. Students must audition for the Joffrey Ballet Dance, vocal music, instrumental music and dramatic arts academies. (Laura Zingmond, March 2018)

 

 

About the students

Enrollment
4551
Asian
27.3%
Black
4.3%
Hispanic
31.5%
White
34.4%
Other
2.6%
Free or reduced priced lunch
68%
Students with disabilities
15%
English language learners
17%
Male
53%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
184%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
90%
87% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
27%
37% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
84%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
41%
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
79%
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
59%
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
4.8
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
78%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
86%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
76%
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
81%
74% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
92%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
84%
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 9 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual arts
This school has 12 licensed arts teacher in Music (part-time), Dance, Music, and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
88%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
54%
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
83%
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
75%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
40%
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
10%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
60%
37% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
54%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
68%
60% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Arabic, Chinese and Spanish.
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
53%
66% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
70%
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
88%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
90%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90%
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
54%
59% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Honors Academy
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

A four-year academic program offering courses in humanities, mathematics, and science courses that culminate in AP coursework. Students that complete the Honors Academy coursework are eligible for the Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors distinction.

Joffrey Ballet Dance Academy
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

Students will be trained in the Joffrey Ballet School's technique in classical ballet, contemporary dance, jazz, improvisation, dance history, dance composition, and pointe. Students eligible for Honors and AP classes will be programmed accordingly.

Instrumental Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

In addition to studying the required music courses, students will develop their ability to perform on a musical instrument, study music theory, and enhance solo and ensemble techniques.

Vocal Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

In addition to studying the required music courses, students will develop their vocal techniques, study music theory, and enhance solo and ensemble techniques.

Dramatic Arts Academy
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

A sequential course of study focusing on acting, scene study, dramatic literature, playwriting, and performance.

Zoned
Admissions Method: Zoned Guarantee
Program Description

Comprehensive academic program.

Academics

Language Courses

Arabic, French, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Physics, AP Psychology, AP Spanish, AP Studio Art: 2-D Design, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP U.S. History, AP World History

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Football, Handball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Golf, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Golf

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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Location

8301 Shore Road
Brooklyn NY 11209
Bay Ridge (District 20)
Trains: N/A
Buses: B16, B37, B4, B63, X27, X37

Contact

Phone
718-748-1537
Principal
Kaye Houlihan
Parent Coordinator
Lisa Lynch

Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.

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